On his birthday, Indian cricketing maestro Virat Kohli gifted himself and the cricketing world a remarkable milestone by slamming his 49th One Day International (ODI) century during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 match against South Africa at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. This incredible feat saw Kohli join the legendary Sachin Tendulkar at the pinnacle of the list of most centuries in ODI cricket.
Virat Kohli reached this historic milestone during the 49th over of the Indian innings. The right-handed batsman showcased his trademark finesse and expertise, striking 10 fours on his way to a well-paced century.
Kohli commenced his innings in characteristic fashion, displaying his free-flowing strokeplay as he capitalized on loose deliveries from the South African pacers. However, he adjusted his approach when the South African spinners came into the attack, displaying his adaptability and cricketing acumen.
In the ongoing Cricket World Cup, Kohli has already notched a century against Bangladesh in Pune, where he played an unbeaten innings of 103 runs off 97 balls, guiding India to a convincing seven-wicket victory and earning himself the Player of the Match accolade.
His pursuit of another century came tantalizingly close in Dharamsala against New Zealand, falling just five runs short. Kohli also dazzled the audience with a splendid 88-run innings against Sri Lanka in Mumbai, narrowly missing out on another century.
However, Virat Kohli wasted no time in etching his name alongside the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, achieving this extraordinary milestone on a special Sunday at the hallowed Eden Gardens.
The list of top century-makers in ODI cricket boasts three Indians at the summit, with Rohit Sharma closely trailing with 31 centuries, followed by Tendulkar and Kohli. Remarkably, nine players have amassed over 25 centuries in this format in men’s cricket, a testament to the incredible talent and consistency displayed by these cricketing icons.
“My job was to bat deep, it was a tricky wicket,” says Virat after his 49th ton against South Africa
Star India batter Virat Kohli, who smashed a brilliant century against South Africa in his ICC Cricket World Cup match, said that the wicket was tricky and his role was to bat deep.
Virat Kohli created history on his 35th birthday by scoring his 49th ODI century, equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most ODI tons and guiding India to 326/5 in 50 overs against South Africa here at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
“It was a wicket that was tricky to bat on, we got a great start from Rohit and Shubman, my job was to keep it going on. The ball started gripping and turning after the 10th over, it slowed down and then my role was to bat deep with the others playing around me. That was what was communicated to me by the team management,” said Virat after his innings.
“Shreyas played well and we got a few more runs towards the end. We (He and Iyer) had a lot of chats during the Asia Cup, we bat at 3 and 4, so this was the partnership that was needed to take the game forward. We don’t have Hardik in the team, so we knew a wicket or two could cost us, we had to dig deep and take the match deep. I am grateful to god for giving me the chance to play and contribute to the team’s success. It is great to get a hundred on my birthday in front of this big crowd at this great venue. The pitch is on the slower side, we have a quality bowling line-up as well, but we’ll have to work hard. Wickets will be the key, getting a couple early will put them under pressure with the way this pitch is behaving,” he added.
Rahul Dravid Praises Virat Kohli as a Legend of the Game Ahead of His Birthday Match
As India prepares to face South Africa in the 37th match of the ODI World Cup 2023, scheduled on Virat Kohli’s birthday at the iconic Eden Gardens, India’s head coach Rahul Dravid has showered accolades on the cricketing maestro. Dravid hailed Kohli as a legend of the game, particularly in the 50-over format, emphasizing his exceptional ability to finish games.
Speaking to the International Cricket Council (ICC), Rahul Dravid expressed his admiration for Kohli’s remarkable contributions to the sport. Dravid, a former cricketing legend himself and the current head coach of the Indian team, highlighted Kohli’s ability to excel under pressure, describing how he has set a benchmark for cricketers of his generation.
“Virat’s a legend of the game, especially in this format of the game. I think all formats of the game, but particularly this one, I think his performance and the way he finishes games. The standard of his performance over the year has probably set a benchmark for his generation of cricketers,” Dravid acknowledged.
Ravichandran Ashwin, the Indian spinner, echoed Dravid’s sentiments, emphasizing how Kohli has revolutionized the thinking and approach in Indian cricket. Ashwin credited Kohli with reshaping the mindset and preparation of batsmen in the game.
“He has changed the DNA of thinking around Indian cricket. How one batsman needs to perceive and prepare for the game,” Ashwin lauded.
Youngster Shubman Gill also paid tribute to Kohli’s insatiable hunger and unmatched passion for the game. Gill emphasized that he has never witnessed anyone as driven and passionate about cricket as Virat Kohli.
“His hunger and passion for the game are unparalleled. I have not seen anyone as hungry as Virat Kohli,” Gill praised.
In the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023, Virat Kohli has been in sublime form, amassing 442 runs in seven matches. He has notched up four half-centuries and one century during the tournament, with his highest score of 103 runs coming against Bangladesh. Kohli’s consistent performance has been a cornerstone of India’s campaign in the World Cup, showcasing his exceptional skill and unwavering commitment to the game.
Kolkata cricket fans celebrates Virat Kohli’s birthday with 35-foot banner
On the occasion of Virat Kohli’s 35th birthday on Sunday, a group of fans in Kolkata celebrated the former skipper’s birthday by cutting cakes and making a 35-foot banner depicting him playing his trademark cover-drive.
Speaking to media, a fan said that to celebrate Kohli’s 35th birthday, they made a 35-foot banner. He added that the ace Indian cricketer will score a century and will give a birthday gift to the fans.
The fan further said that they just want India to win today’s game against South Africa.
“Today is Virat Kohli’s 35th birthday, and to celebrate it, we have made a 35-foot banner. Hopefully, today he will score a century, give us a birthday gift, and equal Sachin Tendulkar’s record. We just want India to win today’s game against South Africa,” a fan said.
Another Kohli fan said that today they will be seeing Kohli’s century and India beat South Africa by a big margin.
“Today we will be seeing Kohli’s century, and India beat South Africa by a big margin. India stay at the top of the points table,” another fan added.